Tips for getting in shape this summer without going to the gym
‘American Ninja Warrior’ competitor shares ways to make exercise more enjoyable.
A recent competitor on the hit TV show “American Ninja Warrior,” Guy Catz owes much of his love for fitness to when he lived in Israel, in 2004. “I would go to the gym there three hours a day and train,” the 27-year-old recalled. He focused on a combination of weightlifting and body-weight exercises at first. Then in 2011, he discovered his passion for rock climbing, which he described as the “ultimate challenge for the mind, body and soul.”
“It’s a sport that requires you to be mindful, calm, composed, yet exert your body’s energy to its fullest,” he told From The Grapevine. “No weights, no membership fees, no ego. Just you, nature and one hell of a workout.”
From climbing, he soon developed an interest in calisthenics-based exercises and would go to a local park to use the bars and rings to focus on the chest, triceps and shoulders. “Calisthenics is the most beneficial and empowering form of exercise there is,” said Catz, now a personal trainer and calisthenics exercise coach living in Sherman Oaks, Calif. “Mastering our bodies through functional exercise will not only strengthen us now, but for the rest of our lives.”
Catz put all his years of training to the test as he recently competed on the extreme obstacle course show “American Ninja Warrior.” He made it to the final qualifiers for the Venice, Calif., episode, placing 21st out of 135 athletes.
With such an impressive resume, we asked Catz for some advice on getting in shape. He shares a handful of ways to break a sweat this summer (and not just because the temperature is topping 90 degrees).
How can I get motivated to exercise, especially during these hot and sticky months?
Find a way to exercise that you will actually have fun doing and hardly notice that it’s a “workout.” Jump around and dance to your favorite music, climb things around you, balance on random objects you come across, go to the beach to run with the ebb and flow of the waves. Fall in love by simply moving and interacting with the world that surrounds you, because that’s what functional exercise is all about. The playground doesn’t end when we are kids, but it grows to be the world around us, and the joy continues.
What are some of your favorite exercises and the benefits that come with them?
Pull-ups strengthen the back, biceps, forearms and core. Push-ups focus on the chest, triceps, shoulders and core. Sit-ups strengthen and tone the abs. Working out our core is essential. It’s what supports every movement, helps with our balance and keeps everything nice and tight to lessen the chance of injury. Dips are great for the triceps. And jumping squats force you to stabilize and balance. These will shred up your legs and get that booty round and firm.
How much should I focus on achieving particular goals?
Set goals for yourself, do your best each time and progress will be made. However, don’t get upset if you aren’t achieving these goals as fast as you had hoped. Be happy and proud that you gave it your all each time you train. The goal will be achieved before you know it.
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